BFU presents: “Don’t be Evil” – Data Activism and Digital Rights

When? 6.30pm – 8pm, Wednesday 8 November, 2017

Where? Bunyapa Park, cnr Thomas St and Vulture St, West End

What? Public panel discussion and community conversation

What is “big data”? Who is collecting it? And how are processes of data gathering impacting on our lives?

In this session, we’ll bring together academics and grassroots activists to talk data activism and digital rights. How can we imagine digital futures that aren’t “evil”? What is the relationship between technology and politics? What might it look like to nationalise social media? Is ethical tech possible? What kind of strategies already exist to reimagine digital technologies for the “common good”? And what are the supply chains that link our everyday digital products to ecological disaster in the global south?

Angela Daly is a socio-legal academic researching the regulation of new technologies. She is also a digital rights activist, currently on the board of Digital Rights Watch Australia.

Amelia Hine is a researcher, writer and graphic designer. She investigates landscape planning for mega-projects like mine closures, and traces their unseen influences and alternatives. She is particularly interested in making visible the supply chains necessary to design, produce and manufacture our contemporary lives.

Caspian Bahramshahi is a community organiser and digital campaigner with the Queensland Conservation Council. They have a passion for decentralised grassroots social movements and the role #hashtag activism has in making that possible.

Liam Pomfret is a consumer privacy researcher and activist, looking into the social factors influencing privacy protection and sharing behaviours. He currently serves on the boards of both the Australian Privacy Foundation and Electronic Frontiers Australia, and has previously stood for Pirate Party Australia.

We’ve invited this collection of excellent folks to participate in a panel discussion for the first 30 – 40 minutes. We’ll then open the conversation up for questions, discussion, collective strategising and a big old chat.

As usual, the event is completely free and open to everyone. A small amount of seating will be available, but please bring a chair or rug if you’re coming from home and want a more comfortable listening-and-talking experience.

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we gather. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and future. Sovereignty was never ceded. 


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BFU presents: Decolonisation, Indigenous sovereignty and ‘the City’

What? Public lecture and discussion

When? 1pm – 2.30pm, Saturday 12th August, 2017

Where? Cnr Russell St and Boundary St, West End, Brisbane.

Who? We are absolutely honoured to present Uncle Sam Watson and Debbi Jones in conversation with facilitator/s Adam Sharah and Jasmyn Shepherd.
This panel discussion will consider the contemporary manifestation of and resistance to colonisation in Brisbane, as well as questions of decolonisation, sovereignty and Indigenous land rights.  The panel will reflect on the idea of decolonising the city: what might that look like? How might it happen? And to paraphrase critical race theorist Franz Fanon, how might Indigenous resistance “restructure the world” to create other solutions, other worlds, and other futures?

For those of you who are interested, this session is in conversation with an earlier BFU event – a conversation called “Decolonising the City” with Melissa Lucaschenko. You can listen to that recording via 4zzz’s Radio Reversal, at

This discussion will be presented as a part of Right to the City Brisbane’s “Break the Boundary III,” a free, public event running from 1pm – 9pm on Saturday 12th August, 2017.  The event as a whole considers the politics and potentials of public space in West End and beyond, and poses broader questions about colonisation, decolonisation, solidarity and resistance.

You can find more details about the Break the Boundary event here:
As usual, these events are completely free and open to everyone.  The space will be family friendly.  The broader Break the Boundary event is a fundraiser for the Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy, to raise money to send BASE delegates to a national lore gathering. There will be spaces available to donate, if you wish, and there will be chai available for $2, the proceeds of which will go to BASE.

We acknowledge that Brisbane Free University gathers, meets and organisers on stolen land.  We pay our respects to Elders past, present and future. Sovereignty over these lands was never ceded.

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BFU presents: “The artist as facilitator”

Join us tomorrow night from 6.30pm – 8.30pm at Wandering Cooks for the next in a series of talks co-hosted with People-Art-Place, investigating the politics and poetics of public art projects in “The Artist as Facilitator.”

When? Tuesday 16th May, 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Where? Wandering Cooks, Fish Lane, South Brisbane
What? The Swiss Army Knife of Contemporary Art: The Artist as Facilitator

The ‘Facilitator’ is curious new breed of artist. Highly skilled, these creatures are known for mixing artistic mediums, breaking from the institution, and constantly faring the question ‘Is it art?’ due to their lack of “concrete” outcomes and visibility to the general public. A social animal, the ‘Artist as Facilitator’ is easily identifiable for their conceptual stealth, logistical prowess and fierce concern for their community.

The second in a series of lectures that aim to challenge public perceptions of art in public space, The Swiss Army Knife of Contemporary Art: The Artist as Facilitator unpacks the concept of ‘The Artist as Facilitator’ through a collection of case studies and informal discussion with artist Zoe Scoglio.

Zoe Scoglio:
In her practice, Zoe unites performance, video, sound and installation to create interdisciplinary, site-specific and participatory work. Playing with notions of time, origin, sentience and morphology, her work engages the varied cultural, political and personal narratives we create about this rock we call home.

Interested in the idea that all forms, both human and non-human, are sites of transformation, Zoe’s practice explores how the narratives we create about our idea of humanness impact the way we commodify, consume, and value the natural world and its resources.

Creating work that draws upon her training in media arts, voice and body-centric practice, Zoe develops participatory projects that explore possibilities for collective engagement, ceremonial encounters and enlivened installations. She takes a non-hierarchical approach to the mediums, subjects and objects I work with, often combining both animate and inanimate bodies in a relational choreography.

As usual: these talks are completely free and open to everyone!

We acknowledge that we gather on Indigenous land. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.  Sovereignty was never ceded.


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BFU presents: Brisbane’s Shrinking Public Realm

Brisbane’s Shrinking Public Realm (revisited):

Gentrification, privatisation and the social impacts of urban enclosures

BFU is proud to present a session in collaboration with the Right to the City Brisbane as part of the 24-hour “Instead of a Casino” occupation on Saturday 22/Sunday 23 April, 2017.

Queens Park, cnr Elizabeth and George St, CBD
When? 4.30pm, Saturday 22 April, 2017
What? Public lecture and discussion

The speakers:
Peter Walters is an urban sociologist from the School of Social Science at UQ. He teaches first year students what sociology is, and graduate students what sociology could be. He researches how we shape cities and how they shape us.

Lena Molnar is an early career researcher at the UQ School of Social Sciences working in urban and emotional sociology. Her honours thesis focused on retail gentrification in Brisbane’s streetscape. Lena has a background in fine arts, plays in a couple of bands and is a previous host of Radio Reversal on 4ZZZ.

Rob Shields’ work spans architecture, urban geography and sociology to bring interdisciplinary and global perspective to research on urban cultures, including the built environments of cities and the virtual social spaces of new media. At the University of Alberta’s City-Region Studies Centre, I teach and direct engaged, participatory research and design projects that leverage public curiosity and practice-based approaches. Notable publications include Places on the Margin; Lefebvre, Love and Struggle; The Virtual and Spatial Questions: Social Spatialization and Cultural Topology. Rob Shields also founded Space and Culture (an international peer-reviewed journal) and Curb (a Canadian planning magazine).

Marissa Dooris is an activist and a lawyer, interested in the fluid and messy spaces between law and justice. She has extensive experience working with marginalised communities in Brisbane, particularly through the Homeless Persons Legal Clinic and Sisters Inside. As a lawyer, activist and researcher, she is interested in the intersections between racism, poverty and violence, and the ways they shape our public realms.

Join us in the heart of the city to think about the future of the public realm, what it means to have a right to the city, and how we work toward building just cities and worthwhile futures.

We acknowledge that we will be gathering on unceded Aboriginal land. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and work to address the legacies and continuations of colonisation in our lives.


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BFU presents: Now you see it, now you don’t


Now you see it, now you don’t: 

The Value of Temporary Art in Public Space

BFU is super excited to present a collaboration with p + a + p, an arts project based in Brisbane that aims to challenge community perceptions of art in public space.

When?  Tuesday 7th March, 6.30pm – 8.30pm

Where? Wandering Cooks, 1 Fish Lane, South Brisbane
What?  Public lecture and panel discussion, and community conversation

For many (especially in the art world) the term ‘public art’ conjures disdain and a sense that precious public money is being used to purchase an oversized object that has little or no connection to the community amongst which it sits. While this is not always the case, there is a strong perception that public art is generally bad art.

The first in a series of lectures that aim to challenge that perception, Now You See It, Now You Don’t, will instead explore the value of temporary art in public space. Through examining four case studies and interviewing Brisbane-based artist Caitlin Franzmann who has staged several projects of this nature, this session will unpack the creative, social, and economic benefits of projects that have a limited lifespan in urban context.

Jenna Green Bio:
Artist, curator and arts writer Jenna Green has spent the last decade working within the construction industry and fine art sector. Combining her passion for art with her background in design, Jenna balances a career in public art facilitation with her art practice and art writing. Currently working freelance, Jenna is based in Brisbane.

With an art practice developed over the past six years, Jenna has worked collaboratively with Propriety Limited (Pty Ltd), as well as individually. Involved in several group shows such as the 29th Gold Coast International Ceramic Art Award (2014), Self (2016), and New World City (2014), she continues to increase her exposure nationally. Having just completed her Honours body of work that responds to the concept of the creative industries, Jenna is drawn to the tensions and opportunities that exist at the juncture of art and commerce.

Jenna has had the pleasure of working with public art facilitators, John Stafford and Jodie Cox (CREATIVEMOVE), Urban Art Projects, gallerists Jan Murphy and Sophie Gannon (Contemporary Editions), Spiro Grace Art Rooms, and a collection of other esteemed artists and galleries as a freelance curator, designer and writer. Specific artists she has worked with and continues to work with include, Donna Marcus, Sebastian Di Mauro, Robert Andrews, Laura Jones and Karen Black and many others. She is currently working on a publication for The Laundry Artspace.

Marisa Georgiou Bio:
Marisa Georgiou is an inter-disciplinary artist, critical writer, and student of embodied performance strategies, interested in atmospheric sensation and our relationship to ‘nature’ in connection to wider feminist/postcolonial discourses. Through her performance practice, she explores the space between uncultured and cultured embodiment, alternative ways of Knowing, and their expression in the urban/natural landscape.

Marisa completed her Bachelor of Fine Art (Hons) in 2015, where she researched the potentials of an ethical visual approach to Landscape, in video and installation mediums. This year she has presented and published this research for LEVEL ARI and Critical Animals Creative Research Symposium. She regularly exhibits in galleries, artist-run-initiatives and alternative venues in Brisbane and interstate, and has an upcoming solo exhibition at MOANA Project Space, Perth.

Marisa’s words have been featured in local and national publications including Artlink, Common Ground Journal, and Panoptic Press, and she has written for both commercial and artist-run spaces, such as Spiro Grace Art Rooms, The Hold Artspace, Seventh Gallery and others.

Caitlin Franzmann Bio: 
Caitlin Franzmann explores contemporary art’s potential to instigate change by way of critical listening, dialogue and self-empowerment. In reaction to the fast pace and sensory overstimulation of contemporary urban life, she creates situations to encourage slowness, mindful contemplation, and social interaction in both galleries and public spaces. These situations include conversation-based works and immersive sonic spaces such as wearable listening sculptures, architectural interventions and audiowalks.

Caitlin originally trained as an urban planner and in 2012 completed a BFA at Queensland College of Art. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, including at the Institute of Modern Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Canberra Contemporary Art Space and torna, Istanbul, and has participated in festivals such as OtherFilm and Electrofringe. Caitlin is Co-director of LEVELari, a Brisbane-based collective focused on generating dialogue around gender, feminism and art.

p+a+p Bio: 

people+artist+place is a Brisbane-based arts initiative, designed to challenge community perceptions of art in public space. p+a+p facilitates dynamic contemporary art projects that are accessible and critical in equal measure.

In 2017, p+a+p. will launch with a series of three lectures on art in public space, facilitated by Brisbane Free University. For each lecture, we will look at interstate and international case studies to unpack the creative, social, and economic benefits of such projects in public space, and proceed to invite an artist who has worked in such a way to speak about their practice.

This year will also see a small collection of projects facilitated by p+a+p., that see an artist/artist collective produce work beyond the gallery and in collaboration with a community/business/venue. Our intention is to provide artists mentoring and support to realise their work to a high standard, and in community context.

All welcome!

BFU acknowledges that we live and work on unceded Indigenous land.  We pay our respects to the traditional custodians of the land, and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.
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Brisbane Free University Radical Reading Group

***PLEASE NOTE: We have decided to postpone the reading group for Wednesday 15th March. We will update the reading list to reflect the changed dates.  We’ll be meeting as usual at the Hope St Cafe next Wednesday (22nd March) at 5.30pm.
Please see below for the draft calendar and reading list for the Brisbane Free University Reading Group.  We’ll keep updating and uploading content as the term progresses.
Wednesdays, 5.30pm – 6.45pm, Hope St Cafe, Boundary Street, West En
 Screen Shot 2017-02-27 at 9.06.47 am.png

Thinking in the present:

Critical theory, philosophy and contemporary political thought”


The focus of this reading group will be on counter-canonical works; writing by and about Indigenous, queer, black, POC, anti-capitalist and feminist ideas and theories. We want to create a space where we can read things collectively in order to use it strategically.  This isn’t an abstract learning exercise, though those too offer a powerful kind of resistance to the status quo.  This is a deliberate space for thinking philosophy, theory and politics in relation to the material, social, economic, aesthetic and emotional conditions of our lives.

These discussion groups will be open to everyone, regardless of whether or not you want to read in advance. We’ll upload content every few weeks, so there should always be the possibility of reading ahead and reading back.  We’ll also do our best to upload discussion questions, so that anyone who wishes to engage with the content can do so regardless of whether you’ve read the suggested literature. These kinds of projects should be fun, accessible, fumble-friendly. Please let us know if they’re not!

We acknowledge that we are writing, reading and thinking on unceded Indigenous lands.  We acknowledge and thank the traditional owners of the lands we inhabit. We work to remedy the wrongs of colonialism, and their ongoing legacies. Sovereignty never ceded.


Part 1:


The goal of the first three weeks of the reading group is to locate our reading in the social and political context of settler-colonialism, and to build the critical scaffolding for the rest of the group. We want to find ways to figure out what it means to be, read, think, organise, celebrate, love, party, travel, work and exist on unceded Indigenous land. How do we work to address the legacies of colonisation in our daily lives? What does decolonisation look like? What is whiteness? What do we mean when we talk about “Indigeneity,” “colonialism” or “whiteness?” And for those of us who benefit from colonisation and its contemporary manifestations, how do we locate ourselves in relation to struggles for Indigenous sovereignty, dignity and resistance?


Week 1: Indigenous feminism, postcolonialism and the politics of representation

Wednesday January 25th, 5.30pm – 6.45pm
Aileen Moreton-Robinson, “Talkin’ Up to the White Woman”
Introduction: Talkin’ the talk
Chapter 6: Tiddas Speaking Strong
Irene Watson, “Power of the muldarbi, the road to its demise”
Celeste Liddle: “How to show solidarity with Indigenous Australians this Invasion Day”
Amy McQuire: “All feminists are created equal, but some are more equal than others”
Oodgeroo Noonuccal: “Racism” | “I am Proud” | “Then and now”
Alexis Wright, “Carpentaria,” (Chapter 1)
No discussion questions – broad conversation about the purpose of the group, the role of radical reading, what we’ll “do” with these knowledge/s.

Week 2 – Orientalism, representation and the Other

Wednesday February 1st, 5.30pm – 6.45pm
Edward Said, “Orientalism,” pp 1 – 57
Franz Fanon, “The Wretched of the Earth,” pp 1 – 62
Zoe Samudzi: “The Women’s March and the difference between unity and solidarity”
bell hooks, interviewed by i-D, “A discussion of the black female and modern day feminism with bell hooks”
Maya Angelou, “Still I rise”
Junot Diaz, “How to date a brown girl (black girl, white girl, or halfie)”
“Colonialism” – Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy
You can find the full text of each of the readings in the following google drive folder:
1. What is the relationship between colonisation and decolonisation? Can they co-exist?
2. Fanon writes: “the colonist and the colonised are old acquaintances. And consequently, the colonist is right when he says he “knows” them. It is the colonist who fabricated and continues to fabricate the colonised subject. The colonist derives his validity, i.e. his wealth, from the colonial system.”
What is the relationship between “coloniser” and “colonised?” How do we (individually and collectively) locate ourselves in relation to these terms?
3. Both “Orientalism” and “Wretched of the Earth” talk a lot about the “Encounters” with “the Other.” What do those terms mean, in relation to colonisation and decolonisation? What does it mean to encounter the Other? Consider this in relation to Junot Diaz’s short story, “How to date a brown girl (black girl, white girl, or halfie)” and Maya Angelou’s poem, “Still I rise.”
4. In the context of bell hooks’ interview, do you think that the “imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy” is an identity? Or is it a set of practices? To link back to Fanon and Said – is one *always* going to be colonised? Is one *always* going to be a colonist?
5. On the basis of these readings, how can we understand the political idea of “solidarity?” What does “solidarity” look like in relation to de/colonisation? In the context of the article by Zoe Samudzi, why do you think attempts to prioritise “unity” in mass movements can be so (ironically) polarising?
6. What is the relationship between colonisation and capitalism? Does “decolonisation” require a rejection of capitalism? Can they co-exist?

Week 3 – Decolonisation, research and the production of knowledge

Wednesday February 8th, 5.30pm – 6.45pm
Linda Tuhiwai Smith: “Decolonising Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples.” Especially chapters 2, 3 and 4.
Standing Rock Syllabus – Explore as desired!
Liz Connor: “The Climate Movement is Indigenous-led”
Akala interviewed on poverty, gentrification, creativity, immigration controls, and beyond…
Poetry works will be uploaded separately.
The full text of Decolonising Methodologies can be found in the google drive:
1. In her opening sentence, Smith argues that “from the vantage point of the colonised, a position from which I write, and choose to privilege, the term ‘research’ is inextricably linked to European imperialism and colonialism.” Why do you think this is? What does this mean for us as readers and ‘thinkers’?
2. Also in the introduction, Smith references F Wilmer’s text ‘Indigenous voices in international politics,’ to argue: “indigenous peoples represent the unfinished business of decolonisation.” What do you think this means?
3. The second chapter of the book starts with a quote from black feminist writer Audrey Lorde: “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” What do you think this means in the context of the conversations we’ve been having over the past few weeks, about Indigenous feminism, orientalism, black consciousness and decolonisation?
4. In writing about the role of “history-telling” in the production of knowledge about Indigenous people and communities, Smith writes that “under colonialism…we have often allowed our ‘histories’ to be told and have then become outsiders as we heard them re-told.” Similarly, postcolonial feminist theorist Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak wrote a paper posing the question “can the subaltern woman speak?” in which she argues that there is no “outside” to representation; it cannot be wholly avoided merely by privileging the oppressed voice.
Phew! What do we think of this? What might it mean to “decolonise” representation?
Reflective thinking…
Part of the goal of these first three weeks of reading was to attempt to locate ourselves as individual and collective ‘readers’ in relationship to place. How do you feel about your role in learning and thinking? What relevance does this thinking have to your life in Australia? How comfortable do you feel locating yourself in relation to Indigenous philosophy, theory and activism? What limits are you experiencing? How do you hope to push against them?
Reading break

Part 2:


The following set of readings is designed to interrogate deep-seated notions of “nature” and “naturalness,” to ask what sorts of political, ethical and philosophical implications these ideas have on our day to day lives. We are interested in thinking through questions about what nature really is, how we access it, and what it means to think critically about questions of “naturalness.” Dipping into feminist theory, Indigenous and critical race theory, queer ecology, eco feminism and beyond, we’ll be posing some big provocations around ideas of nature, the material world, and our relationships to, with and in it.

Week 4 – “Natural” bodies

Wednesday March 1st, 5.30pm – 6.30pm
Judith Butler, “Bodies that matter,” pp 1 – 55
Donna Harraway, “Simians, Cyborgs and Women: the Reinvention of Nature,” especially chapters 1 and 4
Malcolm Shanks and khari jackson, “Decolonising Gender: A curriculum”
Kayo Chigonyi: ’Four poems on naturalness’
Full copies of the readings are available here:
  1. What is nature? What does it mean to be natural?
  2. In the introduction to “Bodies that Matter,” Butler quotes French philosopher and linguist Jacques Derrida in writing “There is no nature, only the effects of nature: naturalisation and denaturalisation.” What do you think this means in the context of a broader discussion about political implications of the idea of “the natural?”
  3. Where does “nature” come from? How do we understand and access it? And what, if anything, does the discourse of “nature” conceal about the conditions under which “nature” is produced, reproduced and catalogued?
  4. What is the relationship between “nature” and “morality?” What are (some of) the political implications of the idea of “naturalness”?

Week 5 – “Natural” violence

Wednesday March 8th, 5.30pm – 6.45pm
Eduardo Kohn, “How Forests Think,” pp 1 – 25
Carmen C Gonzalez, “Environmental Justice, Human Rights and the Global South”
Andy Smith, “Ecofeminism through an anticolonial framework”
Nnedi Okarafor, “Poison Fish” (short story and recording)
Isaac Cordal, installation, “Follow the Leaders”
Lindsay Nixon, “Eco-feminist appropriations of Indigenous feminisms and environmental violence”
  1. What are we talking about when we talk about the “environment?” Are we part of the environment?
  2. What happens when we apply broader philosophical notions of “naturalness” (like those we discussed last week) to the material world? What kinds of worlds and systems and ideologies become visible and/or invisible when we frame our ideas about the environment around political and philosophical notions of “naturalness?”
  3. What sorts of power relationships are embedded in your relationship to (and with, and in) our natural environment?
  4. What does it mean to “protect” the environment? What does environmental violence look or feel like?
  5. How do you feel “nature” or “the environment?” Do you feel any particular ethical or moral obligations to protect or maintain the environment?
Reflective questions:
  1. Where did you read these texts? Were you aware of your surroundings? Did you feel yourself becoming part of an ecosystem? What sorts of “natures” were you conscious of while reading? Were you conscious of feeling your body? Your breathing? Can you articulate how it “felt” to think and read in a place and a time? How do you think your experiences of being in nature are influenced by the social and political construction of ideas of “naturalness” (and de-naturalisation)?

Week 6 – Challenging nature

Wednesday 15th March, 5.30pm – 6.45pm
Laboria Cuboniks: “The Xenofeminist Manifesto”
Angela Willey, “Undoing Monogamy,” chapters 1, 2

Week 7 – Queering Nature

Wednesday 22nd March, 5.30pm – 6.45pm
Stacey Alaimo, “Bodily Natures”
Timothy Morton, “Queer Ecology”
Reading break

Part 3:


Topic 7 – How do we “know” what we “know?”
Topic 8 – Subjectivity and intersubjectivity
Topic 9 – Love, desire, guilt, shame
Topic 10 – Politics, being and identity
Topic 11 – Intersectionality
Reading break

Part 4:


Topic 12 – What does it mean to live a “good” life?
Topic 13 – What is the common good?
Topic 14 – Art, aesthetics, affect and the emotion of daily life
Reading break
Topic 15 – What is collective action, and how do we do it?
Topic 16 – What is emancipatory politics?
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BFU Radical Reading Group

Brisbane Free University are hosting our very first Radical Reading Group! The idea is pretty simple: a bunch of folks getting together to think through some big ideas, drink tea, embrace our deeply earnest enthusiasm for critical theory and gooey philosophical chats.

The focus of this reading group will be on counter-canonical works; writing by and about Indigenous, queer, black, POC, anti-capitalist and feminist ideas and theories. The first month of readings are uploaded in a google drive. You can access it through the link below. Beyond that, we’ll be opening up the reading list to suggestions from participants.

These discussion groups will be open to everyone, regardless of whether or not you participate in the reading side of things. Each week, we’ll upload the readings as well as a short summary and some framing questions. You can read through those, or just show up on the night to listen and think with us. We hope this reading group will be earnestly fun, accessible, fumble-friendly.

Where?  Hope St Cafe, Boundary Street, West End

When?   5.30pm – 6.30pm, Wednesday 25 January, 2016

What?   Casual discussion and reading group


Week 1: Wednesday 25 January, 5.30pm – 6.30pm

Discussion topic: Indigenous feminism, postcolonialism and the politics of representation


1. Aileen Moreton-Robinson, “Talkin’ Up to the White Woman”
Introduction: Talkin’ the talk
Chapter 6: Tiddas Speaking Strong

2. Irene Watson, “Power of the muldarbi, the road to its demise”

3. Celeste Liddle: “How to show solidarity with Indigenous Australians this Invasion Day”

4. Amy McQuire: “All feminists are created equal, but some are more equal than others”

5. Oodgeroo Noonuccal: “Racism” | “I am Proud” | “Then and now”

6. Alexis Wright, “Carpentaria,” (Chapter 1)



Week 2: Orientalism, Exoticisation and Postcolonial Theory


Edward Said, “Orientalism,” pp 1 – 57

Franz Fanon, “The Wretched of the Earth,” pp 1 – 62


Zoe Samudzi: “The Women’s March and the difference between unity and solidarity”…/the-difference-between-unity-and…/

bell hooks, interviewed by i-D, “A discussion of the black female and modern day feminism with bell hooks”…/a-discussion-of-the-black-female-and…


Maya Angelou, “Still I rise”

Junot Diaz, “How to date a brown girl (black girl, white girl, or halfie”

“Colonialism” – Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy

You can find the full text of each of the readings in the following google drive folder:…/fo…/0B88BefcZ-uPCRVNsUDMzOXlSYlU…

We acknowledge that we’ll be meeting on stolen land. We acknowledge and thank the traditional owners of the lands on which we live and work. We work to remedy the wrongs of colonialism, and their ongoing legacies. Sovereignty never ceded.

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BFU presents: Teach, organise, resist!

When? 6.30pm, Wednesday 18th January 2017

Where?  People’s Park, Boundary Street, West End.

**Wet weather contingencies will be updated closer to the event. Keep an eye on this page and the facebook page ( for updates.

What? A public discussion and panel conversation on the importance of public discussions and panel conversations.

In conjunction with a worldwide movement toward re-imagining and rebuilding, intervening and transforming, Brisbane Free University is thrilled to kick off our first ever ‘Radical Reading group’ with a public lecture on the history, politics and potentialities of public education projects.
This session will coincide with the global day of protest and public education called “Teach Organise Resist.” The session will take the form of a panel conversation and discussion group about free universities, reading groups, public learning spaces and the radical potential of collective thinking.

The participants:

Associate Professor Kristen Lyons is an activist academic with over twenty years’ experience in the fields of environment and development sociology. Kristen’s work is focused on the political ecology of resource conflicts and resistance movements, with a particular interest in fossil fuels, forests and food. Kristen is also engaged in work that is examining the various ways in Australia, and internationally, opposition is growing against the privatised and corporatised university model. In a current collaboration with Professor Raewyn Connell, Associate Professor Richard Hil and Dr Monica Seini, Kristen is working on a book project ‘Transforming Universities for the Public Good’.

Jon Piccini is a historian of social movements at The University of Queensland and dad of one. He will be discussing the history of reading groups in Australia, and in particular how they served as a form of popular education for working class people excluded from higher education.

Max Chandler-Mather is a political historian, organiser, soccer-fiend and all-round intellectual babe. He’ll extrapolate on his Honours research into left organising in Indonesia, discussing the radical role that reading groups and public academia play in left organising movements.

Briohny Walker is a cofounder of Brisbane Free University and Radio Reversal, a politico-philosophical talk show on 4zzz Community Radio. Briohny’s current research interests include queer ecology, precarity, failure, education and climate change. She’ll speak about the history, philosophy, ethics and aesthetics of the Brisbane Free University.

Natalie is a critical geographer and environmental planner based at Griffith University. Her work focuses on social, spatial and environmental justice in human settlements, radical planning and the role of activism and community organising for just transitions, and the right to the city. She will be facilitating the discussion and otherwise saying very little.


About the broader movement:
January 18, 2017, is a day to Teach, Organize, Resist. Transform your classrooms and commons into spaces of education that protest policies of violence, disenfranchisement, segregation, and isolationism. Use the power of knowledge to challenge inequality and to build alliances for social justice.

#J18 is meant to be a day of actions, ideas, dreams, dialogues, performances, alliances, plans, marches, and assemblies created by many in a multitude of spaces and places. We invite educators, students, and community partners to plan programs and activities on that day and to share information via this website. We will together build a platform that connects education and protest across the United States and links these to actions of solidarity in other parts of the world.

For more information, check out the website:

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Let the Kids Go: Ending youth detention

Presented by: Sisters Inside, the Cloudland Collective, and Brisbane Free University.

When? 7 – 8.30 pm, Wednesday 19th October, 2016.

Where? AHEPA Hall, 126-128 Boundary St, West End


Thousands rallied around the country following Four Corners’ and Amnesty International reports exposing the use of excessive force, tear gas, restraints, unmuzzled dogs and regular humiliations experienced by young people in youth detention centres. This abuse, largely of Aboriginal children, appears to have been condoned in the past by correctional services agencies and responsible Ministers until public expressions of outrage forced a response.

Widespread support for protest rallies came as no surprise. The mistreatment of juvenile detainees is the tip of the iceberg. Mass removals of Aboriginal children is at an all time high and the threat of dispossession unabated, eg. in the Galilee Basin and the planned nuclear waste dump in South Australia. Growing inequalities in income, employment, health, education and so on, associated with neoliberal capitalism have impacted unrelentingly and disproportionally upon the Aboriginal community.

The meeting will address the systemic racism reflected in, and reinforced by, the juvenile justice system, the alternatives to prison, and why youth detention centres should be closed as part of the broader struggle for Aboriginal justice.

• Angela Davis, prison abolitionist, writer, and Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies
• Rachel Herzing, co-founder Critical Resistance
• Melissa Lucashenko, founding member of Sisters Inside and novelist
• Pekeri Ruska, co-founder of Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance (WAR) and Black Rising Magazine
• Murrawah Johnson, a spokesperson for Wangan and Jagalingou in the campaign to stop Adani

Entry by donation / no one turned away.

All welcome!

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Gendered Landscapes: Imagining feminist cities

When?     6.30pm – 8.30pm, Wednesday 13th July, 2016

Where?    People’s Park, 157 Boundary Street, West End


This is the second workshop in our winter program, looking at the critical context of global “right to the city” movements. In this session, we began by posing ourselves the question “what would a feminist city look like, and how might we bring it into being?”

Naomi Stead is an architectural academic, scholar and critic, based in Queensland, Australia. She is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Queensland, Australia.

Natalie Osbourne is a planning academic, lecturer and all-round fantastic human. Her research interests include social justice and feminism in environmental planning and geography, radical and insurgent planning practice, resilience and community development and community-based adaptation to the impacts of climate change and peak resource.

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